Installing wifi, advice needed please.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by jimiol, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. jimiol

    jimiol Funster

    Dec 21, 2011
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    Doonbeg Ireland
    Hi Motorhome fun people, I hope one of you can help me. I am in the process of buying a small campsite (1 acre circa 15 pitches) in Ireland I want to be able free wifi on the site. I will have a normal router in the reception office which is towards one end of the site. What extra equipment will I need to install to ensure the wifi is available throughout the site? Will I require extra routers or is there a booster for wifi signal?

    I will be using a domestic wifi installation similar to BTs. It is such a small site that I really do not wish to go to the extent of some commercial package as this would not really be viable.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

    Aug 20, 2007
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    Acklam, Teesside, originally Glossop
    Hardware may well depend on site topography so difficult to say exactly what kit would be needed.

    I should be wary about using a domestic WiFi package, though, as the contract will probably specifically prohibit commercial usage.
  3. Addie

    Addie Trader - Motorhome Wifi

    Oct 15, 2011
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    A local IT company would likely be able to recommend something for you which would give you the benefit of after sales support should an issue arise in the future. If you are running a campsite you will likely not have a lot of time into fault finding and IT contractors don't usually like (or charge a premium for) fixing other peoples / self installed hardware.

    As a sweeping generalization you would probably have a WiFi antenna mounted on a pole in the middle of the campsite and a invisible backbone / bridge from your reception area to this location. It might be that you have the reception as Station 1 and position the remote repeater in a different location as Station 2.

    There are legal implications of offering 'Free WiFi' and you should really use a captive portal displaying terms and conditions and some sort of load balancing / traffic management to ensure the same quality of service to all users and to stop abuse. That being said, I've lost count of the number of sites I've been on and connected to "talktalk"! Be wary of some of the schemes offering to install hardware for free in exchange for charging your customers.

    The issue will always be the "final yard". You might be able to stand with an iPad on Pitch 15 with a good signal, but stand in a metal box (a Motorhome!) and you could well be done to 1 bar or none. That's where WiFi boosters at the customers end comes in :Blush:

    Not a lot of help, but a start!

  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Dec 5, 2008
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    Cheap 'n' cheerful...

    WiFi extender is what to look for.

    Run a pipe with a LAN cable and plug in a WiFi extender. You can run about 150m on a LAN cable. If you need more a hub will extend it another 150m.

    You may even get by wirelessly.


    Got to put the dots in line 1+3 because spaces don't work.
  5. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

    Nov 27, 2011
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    a quick and dirty method would be to use ethernet over mains wifi extenders

    plug the first unit into the same feed as used on the site, then run an ethernet cable to your router. simply plug in a few repeaters round the site covered in water tight boxes. minimal wiring involved and little to go wrong for such a small site. signals are then carried through existing wiring

    a proper instal would take a lot of time and money
  6. WillH

    WillH Funster

    Feb 9, 2008
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    SW Scotland
    Just do it the same way a lot of the smaller French sites do, make it free around the reception block/office using an ordinary wifi router.

    • Like Like x 1
  7. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

    Apr 27, 2008
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    Eastbourne East Sussex
    This is fine for emails etc. It also discourages large downloads/streaming video which are likely to happen if people can access it in there own van, which will make other users connections slow.

    I would rather go to reception for a few minutes connection, than have to pay to use it in my own van.
  8. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

    Sep 23, 2013
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    One acre in a square is different to one acre in a long rectangle. A single pole mounted aerial in the centre of a square one acre site should be sufficient to reach all pitches. I'm certain that you will need a router capable of powering an external aerial in either situation, so the standard freebie ISP issue on its own is unlikely to be sufficient.

    Range can be extended two ways. You can provide all the power, so that your campers only need standard phones or laptops. Or you can expect your customers to arrive equipped with their own range extending equipment, as discussed on here many times. Addie supplies lots of it! :Smile:

    I think you would be well advised to exercise some control over its use, but the usual commercial packages are overkill & in some cases appear to be a blatant rip-off, trading on fear & ignorance. Have a look at They provide a cost-effective method of keeping track of who is using your signal & an easy way of doing some basic content filtering if you consider it necessary. I'm not sure how Irish law stands, but don't believe half the scare stories you read by those trying to sell you expensive solutions.

    The UseMyNet solution lets you grant access in a number of ways. You can have a single access code that everyone uses & gives free access for as long as you like, or you can give each person a unique code & set a time limit, after which they must have a new code, or you can charge for access, for varying time periods. Both free & paid-for sessions can be limited by a combination of time and/or amount downloaded.

    Their website only makes passing reference to the extended range equipment needed on a campsite, but I'm sure an email will elicit some helpful information. I have found them very helpful in the past.

    I do have another contact who specialises in long range wireless, should you get stuck, but I have a feeling that their cost structure will be uneconomic for your site.

    Don't forget to let us know when you are up & running. The next Ireland trip is at the planning stage! West of Ireland mostly, but stop-off points in the east will also be required. Wi-Fi will be important, as my understanding is that 3G coverage is still patchy.

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